A Glenview church is seeking to reinstate its parish council president, who was removed by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago last week amid controversy involving the Glenview church’s pastor.
Chicago church leaders stripped James Gottreich of his council post at Sts. Peter and Paul Church after he requested that his pastor, the Rev. James Dokos, be placed on temporary leave during Dokos’ involvement in a criminal investigation.
The remaining members of the parish council voted late Thursday to ask church leaders in Chicago to reinstate Gottreich, he said. About 50 parishioners were present at the meeting, said Gottreich, who was also in attendance.
The controversy arose after Gottreich wrote on Sept. 18 to Metropolitan Iakovos, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, asking that Dokos be placed on temporary leave until a criminal probe is concluded in Milwaukee.
Prosecutors in Milwaukee have confirmed they are looking into how Dokos distributed money from a trust fund set up to benefit the Milwaukee-area Annunciation Church, where he formerly served as pastor, officials said.
Dokos, who has declined to comment, has not been charged with a crime.
Gottreich wrote that to have Dokos serve while “under this cloud is hurting our Parish Life.”
Metropolitan Iakovos responded with a five-page letter Sept. 20 that stated that the parish council had been “expressly prohibited” from discussing the matter.
He declined to place Dokos on leave and instead stripped Gottreich of his position on the parish council.
Metropolitan Iakovos could not be reached for comment.
The metropolis, which oversees 58 churches in six states, instead released a statement Friday that read: “In accordance with The Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago has the authority to make changes to local parish councils. Additionally, The Regulations prohibit discussion of the dispute and investigation.”